PLACE TO BE
full-time and spoke to David about taking that opportunity. It works really well.” Tina came to the church in 2016 but was formally inducted as the full-time associate minister in August, cementing her place within the partnership with David.
They each take turns of preaching at Helensburgh and at Rhu and Shandon each Sunday and Tina also takes a midweek service on a Wednesday lunchtime which has proved popular in recent months.
David added: “Everyone comments on how we complement each other in terms of style. Ministry can be a lonely profession but we deliberately base ourselves here so people can pop in at any time.”
Now, having Tina formally on board, the duo have made it a priority to cater for young people in the community.
David said: “One of the big things that we are both acutely aware of is the lack of provision within the town for young people. Various churches, various groups offer limited services in that direction. There are fantastic facilities and all this space upstairs for young people and they can take ownership of it.
“Crucially it can be somewhere they can come and be, kick back, play the Playstation, have a hot chocolate or whatever else.
“We need someone to staff that and build up a volunteer base. Tina and I produced a paper and presented it to the Kirk session a few weeks ago which is a youth strategy.
“Part of that will see the employment of a director of youth ministry and that will be a full-time substantive post and the Kirk session voted completely unanimously in favour of that.
“Everyone bought into it. We are going to set up a youth forum which will involve bringing kids in various groups round the table. We are very excited about that.”
The church has already made strides in providing for young people, running a weekly drop-in when, between 35 and 40 children from Hermitage Academy, have been going along to the church to socialise and enjoy a hot chocolate.
But as well as reaching out to young people, they are keen to cement their place in the town as a community church, again coming back to their mantra of being a “place to be”.
They enjoy 200 views a week on Facebook as they broadcast their Sunday services live and agree that it’s not just about “getting bums on seats” on a Sunday, but providing an all-round service for people.
Tina said: “If we can reach people and they then decide to come to worship that’s a bonus but it’s not the main thing for us.
“It’s about having the courage to invest the money and the skills and the time to be the church and hopefully touch people in some way. If people can leave this place or we leave people in the community with a sense that the church has done something then we will feel we’ve done our job.”
Ministry team Rev David Young and Tina Kemp
Worship Helensburgh Parish Church